Friday, July 24, 2015

Keeping Score with Your Needles - The Scoreboard KAL

The Scoreboard KAL
"Umm, you're not seriously going to knit during the game, are you?"

"Why, yes, in fact I am. Except I'm not just knitting during the game - I am knitting the game!"

Whether you're knitting at home in front of the TV or in the stadium, it sometimes feels like you're all alone.  Michelle Hunter's new Scoreboard KAL Cowl lets you participate in the game with your knitting.

So how does it work?

First, pick your favorite team.  That part is easy!  Pick your favorite NFL, collegiate, high school, middle school or little league football team.  You'll need yarn in your team's two team colors, with an optional third color.  HiKoo's Simplicity is available in over 50 colors, but we made it easier to choose the best colors for your team with our easy team color chart.

Bonus:  We've got HiKoo's Simplicity on sale at 20% off!

The main color (MC) will always represent your favorite team and their points, while the secondary color (CC) will always represent your team's opponents and their points.  There is also an option to add a third color, to provide a visual break line between games.


Then wait for game day!  The idea behind the design of the cowl is fairly simple. When your team scores, you will knit a round in the MC for each point attained. Did they kick a field goal? That's three points, so knit three rounds.  Did they score a touchdown? That's six points, so knit six rounds.  Was the point after good? That's one point, so add another round.

Simplicity in Raffi (#51)
Should the opposing team score on the subsequent possession (Boo!  Hiss!), their points will be knit in the CC following the same rules.  When they get a field goal, you will begrudgingly knit three rounds in the CC.  A touch down?  Sigh . . . You can pout as you knit six rounds in the CC.  You will follow this structure for the entire game, switching back and forth between the MC and CC depending on which team scores.

When the game is over you can knit the optional game-dividing purl rounds, then put the cowl down until next week's game.  When you pick up your needles next week you will continue to knit your team's points in the MC, and the new opposing team's points will be knit in the CC.

When the season is over, you will be left with an AMAZING, wearable knitted record of your team's 2015-2016 season in the Scoreboard Cowl!  

Scoreboard KAL - Revealed!
Spoiler Alert!!!  Michelle has posted a video that shows the completed Scoreboard KAL!  That's unusual - she never publishes photos of the KAL ahead of time so that even we never know what the end result will look like.  But the mystery of this mystery KAL is that no one will know exactly what your Scoreboard Cowl will look like because it is entirely dependent on how many points your team scores at each game.  If your friend follows a different team her Scoreboard KAL Cowl will not look the same as yours.

While it is impossible to know exactly how much yarn to buy (that depends on exactly how many points are scored at each game), Skacel has done a lot of research on the average number of points scored per game and per season, and we are recommending starting with six 50 gram hanks of HiKoo Simplicity in each of your team's two main colors, and one hank of the optional third color.  You may need to buy more yarn if a lot of points are scored each game, or you may have left over yarn to make a hat if defense is strong!

Simplicity in Grass Slipper (#49)
If you're not into football, but your loved ones are, the Scoreboard KAL is a great way to stay involved in the game plus have a great new knitted accessory at the end of the season (and we suspect they will eagerly shout out how many rounds to knit as the home team scores!).

Like all of her KALs, the pattern is free.  It will be revealed on Thursday, September 3rd on the Knit Purl Hunter website.  As always, you can post questions on Michelle's KAL site or in her Ravelry group.

Get ready to play along this season and keep score with your needles!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Friday, July 17, 2015

Enjoy Your Waterford Shawl . . . And Your Scotch!

Nothing says class and timeless beauty like Waterford Crystal.  So when we received our first shipment of Mountain Colors' new Twizzlefoot sock yarn, I was inspired to knit this fantastic shoulder-hugging shawl.  With panels of diamonds picked out in eyelets, we couldn't help but think of the style and sophistication of the Waterford Crystal crystal decanters in the shop window across the street … or maybe we just wanted a single malt Scotch.

The Waterford Shawl
The Waterford Shawl is worked from the neck down using two skeins of Twizzlefoot.  It sports a slightly dense garter stitch edging at the neckline to keep the fabric strong and to provide a base on which the rest of the shawl is built. From there a panel of single diamonds flow down from each shoulder, and a broader three-diamond panel flows down the center back. The shawl is finished with an all-around panel of miniature diamonds along the bottom edge.

Bonus:  The Waterford Shawl pattern is FREE with the purchase of Mountain Colors' Twizzlefoot yarn

The Waterford Shawl is knit from Mountain Colors' new Twizzlefoot, a sock-weight version of their popular worsted-weight Twizzle. The yarns take their name from the lovely barber-pole effect that results from one ply in the yarn being entirely silk.  The silk takes dye differently than the wool it's plied with, and the resulting fabric has a vaguely tweedy look. The silk also gives the resulting fabric a bit more drape than a basic wool-nylon blend sock yarn would have.  We have 17 gorgeous colors to choose from.

The Waterford Shawl
Enjoy your Waterford Shawl - and your Scotch!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy





Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Groovy Sale! (And Starry, too!)

We're having a groovy sale!  No, seriously, we have Dream in Color's Groovy yarn on sale.

We're continuing our Moving Sale (But We're Not Moving!), and putting select Dream in Color yarn on sale at tremendous prices - the more we sell, the less Dream in Color had to pack up and move to their new location in Tucson, Arizona.  We've just added two fun yarns to the super-sale, Groovy and Starry

Groovy in Dusky Aurora
Groovy is a fun, fast knit.  The yarn is 100% superwash merino wool, which makes it easy to care for, and it's bulky weight makes it a quick knit.  You'll love the rich, earthy colors.  Stock up now and get a jump on your cozy winter sweaters, fluffy cowls and comfy hats.  We've got Groovy on sale at 40% off!

If Groovy is a mellow flower child then Starry is just the opposite - a flashy circus performer!  Dream in Color's Starry is a fingering weight superwash wool with just a touch of silver Lurex filament spun in.  The rich colors glimmer with the hint of shimmer that the Lurex adds.  Knit a shimmery shawlette, or add a twinkle to your toes with a pair of socks.  Starry is on sale at 40% off!

Starry in Gothic Rose
Both Groovy and Starry are on sale at 40% off until the end of July - or until supplies run out, whichever comes first.  At these great deals, we expect them to go fast!

Did you miss the first three Dream Sale yarns?  Baby, Baby Big and Perfectly Posh Single Ply are all on sale at 40%.  So far they're still in stock, but may not be for long!  

Have a groovy day! . . . And Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Monday, July 13, 2015

Our "We're Not Moving!" Moving Sale

We're having a moving sale!!! . . . . but we're not moving.  Huh?

One of our favorite suppliers, Dream in Color, has moved from Chicago, IL to Tucson, Arizona.  So do you think we offered to help them pack?  Load up the boxes?  Drive the truck?  Heck, no!  We decided to have a moving sale for them - less for them to move!  Are we great friends to have, or what?

Baby in Hey, Sunshine!
We're having a Flash Sale with more awesome Dream in Color yarns at a huge 40% off until the end of July (or while supplies last - and with such an incredible discount they may not last for long!).
  • Baby is a 100% superwash merino lace weight wool.  It can be knit or crocheted in a variety of gauges to create soft and lightweight sweaters or delicate lacy shawls.  
  • Size does matter!  Baby Big is big, and oh, baby, is it big!  Baby Big is a limited edition fat skein of Dream in Color's Baby yarn.  It's in a larger skein, and it's a slightly bigger gauge than their Baby yarn.  Only available at FiberWild!
  • What would happen if you blended velvety cashmere, soft baby fine mohair, and shiny silk with the warmth of wool?  You'd have the divine luxury of Perfectly Posh Single Ply.  This yarn is great for next-to-the-skin lacy shawls, snugly cowls, and cozy hats and mittens. 
Baby Big in Big Magenta
As for us, we're perfectly happy in Galena, Illinois.  We're in a charming historic building right on Main Street . . . perfect for our in-store shoppers!  And our back door is about 15 feet from the Galena Post Office . . . which means your internet purchases are almost always mailed the same day you order.  So enjoy our Moving Sale, but don't offer to help us pack - we're staying right where we are! 

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Clearance Sale!


The Fourth of July fireworks are done and the streets are littered with candy and confetti from the parades.  What's next to look forward to this summer:  Summer Sale Season!

It seems like everyone has a sale in the summer.  Lawn furniture is on clearance, the new fall clothes have introductory sales . . . and when are mattresses not on sale?  But with all the summer sale options around this time of year, I think you will like our Summer Clearance Sale the best!

We've got yarn on sale at 30% to 40% off.  And we're not talking about a few left-over skeins here and there, we've got over 30 brands of yarn, most in a full palette of colors, all at clearance prices of 30% to 40% off (look for the "Clearance" flag), plus another 30 or so lines of yarn at 20% off. 

A few of my favorites: 
Alpaca Chunky in Wren
  • Rowan Alpaca Chunky - Alpaca is a wonderfully soft fiber - and it's even better when it's 30% off!  This chunky yarn is a rounded chain construction that is light weight yet warm.
  • Rowan Colourspun is a gorgeous wool and mohair blend with a gentle color shift that is subtle and beautiful - 30% off!
  • Rowan Pure Linen is, well, pure linen!  There's still time to knit a light and airy summer top or swimsuit coverup with the easy feel and airy drape of linen - and you'll save 30%!
  • Frog Tree Alpaca Fingering is a super fine alpaca yarn great for lace and other fine knitting.  A great deal at 30% off!
Melody Superwash in Rainbow
Do you do charity knitting?  Almost all charitable organizations prefer hand knit donations in a washable yarn - and our Summer Clearance Sale is a great time to stock up on washable yarn for your charitable projects!
  • Rowan All Seasons Chunky - Just like the name says, the perfect yarn for all seasons.  This cotton blend is chunky, so your charity projects knit up fast!  Lightweight with wonderful stitch definition, it's perfect for sweaters, hats and scarfs - and it's 40% off!
  • Ella Rae Classic Superwash - Give your projects the warmth and comfort of 100% wool in a washable yarn!  Classic Superwash is already a great price when compared to Cascade 220 Superwash, but it's even better at 40% off!
  • Jojoland Melody Superwash is 100% superwash wool in a fingering weight in fun, self-striping colors.  Great for socks and children's garments, and it's 30% off!
Stock up on some great yarn at fabulous prices as we make room for all of the new fall and winter yarn on its way!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July Sock of the Month: The Cosmic DNA Socks!

Cosmic DNA Socks
Our earliest ancestors understood that children looked like their parents, without fully understanding why.  Many millenniums later, in 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick correctly described the shape of DNA as a double-helix.  The unusual double-helix shape allows the DNA to easily "unzip" and re-combine mom and dad's genetic codes.   Watson and Crick received the Nobel Prize for their discovery in 1962. 

Jump ahead to 2006, and the Spitzer Space Telescope photographed a double helix nebula near the center of the Milky Way.  That's an unusual shape for a star cluster.  So what does it mean?  We're not sure ... but it's really cool!

It's so cool that the shape inspired the next Sock of the Month.  It got me thinking that cables don't have to be just one single twist every few rows exactly the same from bottom to top.  Just like a double helix of DNA zipping and unzipping, the Cosmic DNA Socks have cables extended, shortened, and even traveling.

Double Helix Nebula
Worked from the top down, the Cosmic DNA Socks include some very interesting features.  Get right down to business with cables at four points of the ribbing at the top of the leg—front, back, left, and right. The cables at the front and back continue into the chevron patterns running down the leg. What's interesting here is that traveling ribs feed into the center cable of these panels. The cables on the sides continue down from the ribbing twisting at alternating intervals to give you the open chain look (like a double-helix!). These socks are handsome and a little more challenging to knit.
 
Cosmic DNA Socks
As always, this - our fourth pattern in our Sock of the Month series - is FREE with the purchase of Mountain Colors Twizzlefoot.  Twizzlefoot is a sock-weight version of their popular worsted-weight Twizzle. The yarns take their name from the lovely barber-pole effect that results from one ply in the yarn being entirely silk. The silk takes dye differently than the wool it's plied with, and the resulting fabric has a vaguely tweedy look. Your knitting will also have more drape than if you had used a basic wool-nylon blend sock yarn.  On top of all that, add Mountain Colors' rich, super-saturated dyeing, and Twizzlefoot is sure to be an instant classic.

So where can you get the new Mountain Colors TwizzlefootOnly at FiberWild!  We are the exclusive dealer for the introduction of this new and super-cool yarn and that means FiberWild! is the only place in the entire universe to get Twizzlefoot!  But you don't have to travel the universe to find it, you don't even have to leave your computer, just click here to order online or visit our Galena store.  

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Monday, July 6, 2015

Celebrate the Year of the Sheep with 20% Off ALL ChiaoGoo!

Happy Year of the Sheep!
We're smack in the middle of the Chinese Year of the Sheep.  The Chinese Sheep Year runs from February 19, 2015 through February 18, 2016  (You're also a Sheep if you were born in 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003).

According to tradition any child born during the sheep year will be docile and a follower.  It's been said that some plan their families to avoid having Sheep children, preferring a more powerful figure like the dragon, the horse or the tiger.  But I disagree.  I like to think that those born in the Year of the Sheep will appreciate soft, natural fibers in lovingly hand-knit sweaters, shawls and accessories - just exactly the sort of person that I like best!

ChiaoGoo Bamboo Needles
ChiaoGoo needles and accessories are proudly made in China, so to celebrate the Year of the Sheep we have put all of our ChiaoGoo knitting needles, crochet hooks, interchangeable needle sets, and accessories on sale at 20% off (any excuse will do!).  Yup, everything ChiaoGoo is on sale at 20% off, but only through July, not for the whole year!

Leary of purchasing items made in China?  No worries.  These needles are not made in a Chinese sweatshop.  ChiaoGoo is manufactured by a family-owned business which prides itself with offering high quality products backed by a lifetime guarantee.  Started by four brothers, they were taught bamboo work by their father and grandfather, both traveling bamboo craftsman.  But their real inspiration came from their mother, an avid knitter who was their needle tester and often asked for special bamboo needles to meet her needs.  The family is proud of their quality ChiaoGoo needles - and carry a lifetime warranty.

We have a lot of ChiaoGoo items to choose from, but here are a few of my favorites:

ChiaoGoo Twist Set
The ChiaoGoo Steel Red Lace fixed circular needles are wonderful, lightweight needles made of a high-grade, strong, stainless steel. They have a nice, smooth satin sheen. The flexible cord is a multi-strand, nylon-coated steel cable which allows your yarn to slide easily.  And the tip is ridiculously sharp - excellent for lace knitting or patterns with a lot of increases and decreases.

If you prefer interchangeables, you'll love the ChiaoGoo Twist Interchangeable Set.  It's everything you love about ChiaoGoo's Steel Red Lace circular needles - lightweight yet strong stainless steel needle tips, flexible nylon-coated steel cables, and sharp lace tips.  The join between the needle tip and the cable utilize a screw mechanism (hence the name Twist) and are secured by a key.

ChioGoo Spin Set
Do you prefer bamboo needles?  ChiaoGoo has straight and double point knitting needles and crochet hooks in bamboo.  Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource, and the eco-friendly bamboo needles are warm to the touch.  The bamboo needles use moso bamboo, the largest and strongest of the bamboo species, which creates a very durable needle.

Looking for bamboo interchangeables?  Meet the ChiaoGoo Spin Set.  All of the benefits of bamboo, and the join between the needle tip and the cable allows the tip to spin independently (hence the name Spin).

And just what does ChiaoGoo mean?  Chiao (pronounced chau) means "crafty" and a Goo (pronounced gu) is a "lady".  So a ChiaoGoo is a "crafty lady"!  Are you?
 
Happy Knitting . . . . Amy